The U.S. House of Representatives voted 213-210 Thursday to defeat an amendment that would allow doctors at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals to discuss the use of medical marijuana with patients.
The Veterans Administration prohibits its medical providers from completing forms brought by their patients seeking recommendations or opinions regarding the use of marijuana for medical purposes, even in states where medical marijuana is legal. The defeated amendment would have prevented funds made available to the VA from being used to implement this prohibition, which would have, in effect, struck it down.
“While there is no single approach to aiding our nation’s veterans, medical marijuana is proven to help in treating post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries frequently suffered by veterans,” stated Rep. Blumenauer. “States are listening to their residents on the benefits of medical marijuana, including veterans, and are changing their laws. It is unacceptable for our wounded warriors to be forced out of the VA system to simply seek a recommendation on whether or not medical marijuana is a good treatment option.”
“Let’s lift the gag order. We owe it to our veterans to give them complete information when they ask for it, even if the means discussing medical marijuana,” noted Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA).
Studies have shown that medical marijuana can help treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), illnesses typically suffered by veterans. A growing body of anecdotal evidence suggests that marijuana offers relief when nothing else has and can be a more effective alternative to other and sometimes addictive prescription drugs.